I fell in love with Korean rice cake (or tteokbokki) when I first tried it in Korea back in 2002. I figured out that the essentials were the bean paste and red chilli paste and tried cooking it without a recipe. It turned out well :)
I have included a recipe from NY Times. You can improvise by adding fishcake or mushrooms. Cabbage is essential and meat (pork, chicken or beef is fine) is optional. Just let your creativity and tastebuds decide!
Here's a pix of MooMooFoodie's tteokbokki :)
Tteokbokki — Korean Rice Cakes with Red Chili Sauce
Time: 20 minutes
8 ounces fresh or thawed frozen tteok (see note)
4 ounces beefsteak, such as chuck or sirloin, very thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cups green cabbage, cut crosswise into large pieces (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1. Soak tteok in cold water to cover while preparing the other ingredients, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
2. Combine beef with soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and garlic.
3. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat until very hot. Add beef mixture and stir-fry just until lightly browned, 1 minute. Add onion and cabbage, if using, and stir-fry until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add gochujang and mix. Add about 1/3 cup water, remaining teaspoon sesame oil, sugar and tteok. Mix and let simmer until sauce is thick and tteok is soft, adding water a little at a time as needed. Adjust seasonings with sugar and gochujang.
5. Mix in scallions and serve hot, sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Yield: 2 servings
Note: Tteok (Korean rice cakes, also spelled dduk or toppoki) are available in Asian markets. For this dish, the traditional shape is long cylinders; cut them crosswise in half before cooking. If using dried tteok, cook according to package directions and do not soak.